Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What do you get when you...

...cross a super friendly ewe with a very personable, docile ram??
Wheely Wooly Lerwick

Ah, Lerwick, could you stand there for a second please?

Ok, that's better! This little lamb takes special handling! He is very personable, just like his Mom, Miss Mona, and Wooly Bear, his sire! He loves "talking" to me. Getting pictures of him is a challenge because he'll be over untying your shoestrings before you know it. So we treat him very carefully, so that we shape him into the ram he is going to become. Look at those beautiful horns and sweet expression! We are really thrilled with him!

This is what was on my bobbin yesterday. Today, it's Lil' Rainbow. I've been spinning outside a lot lately, as the rains have finally subsided and the air is fresh. It's noisy though! We have birds nesting everywhere! Cardinals, meadowlarks, some small bird of prey, robins, song sparrows, bluebirds, gold finches, mourning doves, a wren (who sings his HEART out all day!!), orioles, ovenbirds, and kinglets...and killdeer, and house finches, and a quiet little bird that might be a phoebe, and rats!! the nasty starlings! The sandhill cranes are gathering right up the road, too. And Squirrelly has moved back into our big maple tree. That's always a good sign that the coyotes have moved away for the season.
Wheely Wooly Pumpkin

This is Sweetie's little guy. He, too, is turning out to be an exciting little lamb! He has very fine fleece that is growing in abundance, and really nice horns. His personality is also very friendly. The little nose on the right is Gracelyn.

Here is Lerwick's fleece, sort of parted as he wiggled around. This is the stuff of my dreams! This fiber is very, very soft and has a unique handle that is unmatched by any other breed I've worked with, and I spin many hours a day. It is indescribable. This fiber makes for memorably pleasant knitting yarn and is super comfortable to wear.
Pumpkin and Gracie

Wheely Wooly Lerwick

Lerwick has a really nice build that he is maintaining as he grows! Speaking of! He is growing fast!! We have been very lucky to have nice udders on all of our ewes, and fast growing lambs. Pure luck!
Wooly Bear

Wooly Bear (our Grand Champ. and sire of all of this year's lambs) has beautiful horns! He is half asleep here, relaxing in the shade of his "new" pasture. I just love his face, with black, black fiber, no wrinkles on the snout, bright eyes, and impressive "ramness" to his horns.
Goldie, the farm clown

Goldie loves to sit and look at the sheep with me. He's definitely a "company" kind of cat. When he gets too old to mouse outside, I'm thinking of bringing him indoors and turning him into a therapy cat, for he loves to just sit on laps and look around.
Lucky (on right) and Lucy

Lucky has come out of his horrible bad day last spring. We thought he'd have a permanent kink in his neck, but that has gone away. Today, he waddles all around the farm with no problems. They really stick together! The other night, as I was weeding in the vegetable garden, the two of them came waddling up the mulched path in between the beans and peas. At first, I thought I better shoo them away so they don't run over my new bean sprouts. But then I noticed that on the one side, Lucky was "vacuuming" the bean leaves while on the right side, waddling slightly behind Lucky was Lucy, "vacuuming" the pea leaves! Ok! I LOVE these ducks!! Tonight, Lucy is sitting tight on a clutch of ten duck eggs! After days of thinking about it, and carefully rotating the eggs every little while, she is finally sitting tight. So let's 28 days........stay tuned!

This is Lil' Rainbow's lovely yarn! It has amazing handle and is much softer than I thought it'd be! I'd heard that iset is coarser. That is not my experience with this ewe. She has an abundance of undercoat. That's Shetland for you! Unique, soft, and amazing!

Hope you enjoyed this little tour of the souls we share this farm with!

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